Wedding Florist Enquiry Process

Wedding Florist Enquiry Process – Our Exact Approach

Looking for an insider's guide to the wedding florist enquiry process? Here's our exact approach.

If you're a wedding florist, your enquiry process is one of the most valuable assets in your business.

Quite literally, that process is worth money.

As per my usual approach, I'm here to bust through the secrecy and give you a run down on our EXACT approach to navigating wedding enquiries. Yep! Yep and more yep!

How I Created Our Wedding Florist Enquiry Process

When I first started as a baby florist, I fell into the trap of thinking that I had to do fancy proposals, custom quotes and face-to-face consults.

I think with my very first wedding enquiry, it took me more than a week to get her a quote. That was after the hour-long consultation. I spent hours on that proposal, trying to make it look at fancy and legit.

Man oh man, I'm so surprised she stuck around but since that experience, I have learned SO much about how to effortlessly navigate wedding enquiries.

The key to figuring it out? I paid attention to what wasn't working.

In 2018, I remember looking back at my calendar and seeing how many hours I had spent on consults. My close rate was disastrous and I was wasting hours every single week meeting with prospective clients...which got me $0.

Talk about a waste of time (for me and the people who didn't book with me).

But that year was also revolutionary in my business.

I could see how much time I was wasting on these enquiries and in-depth consults.

I just knew there had to be a better way.

But, instead of trying to follow the traditions of our industry, I put my blinders on. I decided to create my own way. From scratch.

I literally threw out everything I thought I had to do and got focused on creating a system that was easy for me and super efficient for my clients.

Why? Cause I knew I had to shake things up. I couldn't afford to waste so much energy on non-money-making activities. It was, quite literally, the definition of inefficient.

So, I went through the process of completely overhauling our wedding florist enquiry process. And yeah, I kinda have broken every rule in the book.

Jumping right into the myth-busting bit...I don't use fancy proposals. I don't do custom quotes. I don't do consultations. And I don't use expensive software solutions.

I keep it bare bones.

Why? It allows me to focus on what matters most to my clients – being quick and being helpful. And, I can sort through new enquiries in a matter of minutes, rather than days (or weeks).

Wedding Florist Enquiry Process – Here's Our Exact Approach

Here you go. This is the step-by-step summary of our approach.

Inside Flower Boss Academy I go through this in itty bitty detail and I give you all of my templates + shortcuts. So, if you wanna get my exact approach and shortcut your progress, come join us today.

Let's start at the very very very beginning...well before the client even contacts you.

  1. Share helpful tips in your marketing. Yep. BEFORE the client even enquires, be open with your guidance and share your wisdom. Do this on social media, your website and anywhere where your clients might be on the lookout for a wedding florist.
  2. Be proactive about talking $$$. This is the fastest way to get rid of the budget clients. The first solution I created was a simple blog post that gave a breakdown of key price points (i.e. $2K, $5K, $10K, $20K). I later then discovered a free WordPress plugin that allowed me to create an online calculator. (That was an awesome innovation for us and our clients!)
  3. On your enquiry form, ask them two seemingly unexpected questions (1) what is your budget and (2) what are you looking for in a floral design team. This gets the money piece on the table early and it changes the dynamic of the relationship (less "master > servent" and more "partnership")
  4. After they respond, send them a template email with a few points of personalisation and point them to (a) the budget blog post or online calculator and (b) your top 10 tips for wedding flowers. Also, make it clear what the next step you want them to take if they're happy to continue.
  5. At the bottom of this email, point them to an online form (a Google Doc is good enough). In this form, ask them to give you all the info you'd traditionally get in a consultation (yes, this form will be long!)
  6. Based on what they have supplied in their Q&A, put together a very simple email with two pricing options (a) their wishlist and (b) your recommendation based on their budget. No matter what your client's budget is, their wish list will always cost them more (that's why it's called a wish list!). They will love that you're giving them both solutions. It gives them a helpful point of view and valuable insight to make an informed decision.
  7. After a little back and forth, (no doubt, they'll have questions) wait until they say the magic words "How do I go about booking you in?" That's when you jump into doing up the formal quote, getting the contract together and adding in your notes.
  8. The client pays 25% to secure your team for the date. And shazaam...another beautiful client booked!

My goal in sharing the above process is to give you an idea of what's possible when it comes to navigating new wedding enquiries. But know that it's not the only way to make it happen.

No matter what you end up doing with your wedding florist enquiry process, just know that you get to create a system that works for you. Lean into your strengths and create a system that is easy for you and helps you get to the goal of booking one in four enquiries (without wasting hours and hours of your time or your client's time).

If you wanna dig into this even more and get more juicy tips from me, I'm passing along more helpful insights in this week's podcast episode – Optimise Your Wedding Enquiry Process – 3 Quick Wins

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

My best lessons learned from navigating more than 2,500 enquiries

My best shortcuts for optimising your enquiry process

Three common mistakes many florists make when they're navigating new enquiries

Super simple solutions for dealing with price shoppers and budget brides

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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How to Make More Money as a Farmer Florist

How to Make More Money as a Farmer Florist

Wanna learn how to make more money as a farmer florist? You're in the right place.

Over the past few years, I've worked closely with farmer florists from all around the world. It's been such an honour to watch them grow and really evolve how they show up as business owners, designers and industry leaders.

Truth be told, there are a lot of common mindset blocks that many of my Flower Boss Academy members share – but there are two very specific scarcity stories that farmer florists struggle with.

But First, Some Context.

Now, here's the thing, we're all human beings. We all have a human brain.

Your brain's job is to think. It's what it does day in and day out and it offers up something like 60,000 thoughts in the run of a day.

Of those 60,000 thoughts, 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive thoughts.

And here's the real kicker...every one of us walks around thinking "our thoughts" are "the truth".

We accept every one of those 60,000 thoughts as unarguable facts.

Except they're not.

They are just our brain's default (likely negative) interpretation of the situation.

It's these repeated, negative stories that stand in the way of us creating the results we want to create in our businesses (and our lives).

Here are a few of my favourite examples that many struggle with...

  1. I cannot charge that much.
  2. My area is too competitive for me to charge full price.
  3. Pricing is hard.

Now here's the fun bit: none of these things is the truth.

If you were to ask 100 florists, there's no way they would all agree (particularly if you ask the amazing humans inside Flower Boss Academy!).

The profits in my business finally took off after I learnt the idea that those thoughts aren't actually 'facts'. That they were just stories I was telling myself – stories that "felt true" because I had been telling myself the same scarcity-based narrative for so long.

For years, I walked around believing each one of these stories. It's these stories that stood in the way of me creating the results I wanted to create in my business.

Why? Well, when you tell yourself 'You can't charge that much,' you feel unworthy and undeserving. When you feel unworthy and undeserving, you give away your work. You offer discounts. You don't pay any attention to how much you should be charging and you just stay stuck in the spiral of underearning.

The result? You wake up each day trying to convince yourself that it must be enough just to love your work. And you don't even learn that you can charge more and how to charge more. (Hello, Starving Artist persona!)

It's scarcity thinking at its best. You are not broken and there is nothing wrong with you.

This experience is how your primitive brain behaves without any sort of adult supervision. Just the fact that you can think about what you're thinking about means you can decide to think anything you want.

It's literally about making the choices between allowing your default thinking to stay stuck in "I cannot charge that much" versus "Maybe it's possible I could charge the same as Kathleen does."

The truth is, you can choose to believe anything you want. You can decide to believe Santa exists. No one can stop you.

So, you can choose to believe that pricing is hard and you cannot charge to the industry formula.

Or you can get to work changing your money story and getting out of your own way so you can watch your profits increase.

How to Make More Money as a Farmer Florist

How does this all relate to making more money as a farmer florist? Well, here's the short version.

When it comes to learning how to make more money as a farmer florist, there are two important mindset shifts you gotta make:

  1. Shift out of the default 'farmer' thinking and into a 'floral designer' mindset
  2. Start appreciating the additional value you bring to the table because you know exactly what's gone into each bloom you grow

Here's one of the most powerful mindset shifts you can make in your business and one of my most favourite questions to ask farmer florists who are struggling with money...

Who do you get to become if you believed your flowers are more valuable than the ones available at the big wholesalers or the grocery store?

I dig into this and much more in this week's podcast episode – 2 Mindset Shifts Farmer Florists Must Make in Order to Increase Your Profits.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

How to make more money as a farmer florist today

One of my favourite shortcuts for believing your 'home-grown blooms' are more valuable than the fanciest flowers you can get at the wholesalers

How to step out of the farmer's mindset and into the premium, floral designer's mindset

Step-by-step examples to help you rewrite your 'making money' scarcity stories

Why you don't have to make the trade-off between creativity, passion and money

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

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How to Increase Florist Sales

How to Increase Florist Sales

A few weeks ago I put a call out on Instagram, asking y'all to send through your questions and 'if we were to sit down and have coffee, this is what I'd want to ask you' questions.

Here's one of my favourites: Kathleen, if you could only do one, which is better: paid Instagram placements, Facebook ads or Google Ads?

Great question.

Different Ad Strategies for Different Offers

One thing I didn't really appreciate early on in my business is that different audiences go through dramatically different sales processes.

For example, a couple getting married at a big hotel will go through an entirely different research process compared to someone looking to getting flowers delivered to the local hospital. I totally didn't even pay attention to this in the first few years of my flower business.

I kinda thought that all things were equal and I just needed to get more followers to get more customers.

I spent years in that thought process until I finally sat down one day and asked myself, "If I was getting married at XYZ Venue, what would I do to find a florist?"

I did the same thing for flower deliveries: "If I was a son living out of town and wanted to send flowers to mum to wish her a speedy recovery at the local hospital, what would I do to find a florist?"

Putting yourself in your customer's shoes is one of the most powerful exercises you can do – and it's one thing we never really spend much time on (I was too focused on my own insecurities and worried about being called out as a fraud that it never even occurred to me to shift my perspective and put myself in my customer's shoes.)

At the end of the day, the marketing priorities in your flower business and understanding how to get more florist sales depends entirely on your niche.

Narrow down your niche and get clear on your ideal customer and you'll start to gain much more clarity in terms of where to focus your time, energy and money to grow your business and get more sales.

How to Increase Florist Sales: Daily Flower Deliveries

Even if you have a flower shop and are able to attract a steady stream of walk-in customers, I've found that the volume game is won online.

More and more customers are getting comfortable ordering flowers online and this is one of the greatest opportunities we have when it comes to figuring how to increase florist sales.

In fact, no longer is having a physical retail shop a 'must have' for a successful flower business. So many florists these days are launching their businesses from home, investing the time and energy in growing the volume and then a few years in, making plans to open retail shop space.

The truth is, profitable flower deliveries is all about playing the volume game. And being online is the name of the flower game in 2022.

And, when it comes to being online, your website and, more specifically, your online catalogue offering, is super important. I used to believe that more choice was better. But having tested out a few different strategies in a few different cities around the world, it's clear to see that's not the case.

In fact, having a core offering of 12 products is my go-to recommendation. It gives you just the right number of options to cover a range of prices, including a mix of hand-tied bouquets and designs in a vase as well as offers a mix of colour palettes. (It really is a great mix and just like Goldielocks said "It's just right".)

Once you have your online catalogue set up and sorted through a seamless checkout experience, now it's time to focus on getting that order volume through the door.

We spent years testing out different options – offering up free arrangements to local businesses in the hopes that exposure would turn into paying customers; paying for expensive print ads, boosting posts on Instagram, setting up Facebook Ads and sorting through Google Ads.

For us, Google Ads was where the magic happens. In fact, these days, I wouldn't even spend a penny on any other form of advertising when it comes to increasing florist sales for daily flower deliveries.

The targeting available on Google, the volume available, and being able to set up conversions, makes Google Ads one of the single best options for florists. And no, doubt some huge percentage of potential customers immediately jump to Google when they want flowers delivered.

So, if you're wondering: Kathleen, if you could only do one, which is better: paid Instagram placements, Facebook ads or Google Ads? My answer is obvious: Google Ads. No doubt about it.

4 Google Ads Tips for Florists

Be warned, the Google Ads interface is super complicated. But that's why we've just hit publish on a brand new, step by step training inside our Flower Boss Bootcamp Study Vault. We've mapped out the exact ads to start with, how to get your conversions set up and the exact steps to follow to get your first campaign off the ground.

If you've already started playing around with Google Ads and you're not seeing much progress, here are four pro tips to help you refine your approach:

  1. Make sure your delivery area is included in the search terms. By default, Google is going to offer up your ad to anything who types in "flower delivery". But, if you only deliver to Cambridge and a customer is looking for delivery to Chicago, there's no point in paying for that, right?
  2. Negative Keywords. This is one of those quick shortcuts to getting better results on your ads. Inside the Google Ads interface, you can start to flag 'negative keywords'. That is, words that people might include in their search phrase that are a definite no and mismatch for your business. It's a good practice to go in every week or every other week and refine that negative keyword set because it will give Google a better guide on who a good customer is a who isn't worth any $$$$
  3. Set Up Conversions. A conversion is a fancy bit of code that give Google the signal that someone who clicked on your ad eventually purchased. That bit of code is super helpful for Google because then it will show your ads to other people who have similar search behaviours as the people actually purchasing your work. I find the easiest way to make it happen is to find someone on Fivrr.com – they can get the whole thing set up for in a matter of days and probably less than $100. So worth it!!
  4. Play the long game. Google Ads is not an overnight solution. It takes 2-3 weeks for Google to start to figure out who your ideal customers are and, even then, you need to be willing to invest the time and energy to continually refine and optimise your ads and campaigns. But it is by far the fastest way to get that order volume up. Over a matter of weeks, you'll start to see a difference and, if your online catalogue is set up correctly, you'll start to see the order rollin' in more consistently!

Let's Go Deeper: Get More Flowers Order Faster

Being stuck with a cooler full of flowers feels awful. Knowing you're a good designer with a great product to sell your customers, while just not having enough customers or getting enough order volume is so disheartening.

Don't fret! We're here to help.

In this week's podcast episode, I'm digging into more nuts and bolts and specific tactics to help you grow your flower business.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

How to set a sales target in your flower business

The right strategy to follow when you're setting up your online catalogue and focused on in creasing order volume

The easiest way to get customers to spend more money so you can increase your revenue and profitability

That fastest way to increase your order volume and where to focus your time and money to get more orders in the door

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business

10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business

Looking for the 10 things I did to grow my flower business? You're in the right place.

One of the most common questions I get asked is, "Kathleen how did you go from a newbie, fresh outta flower school designer to a 6-figure designer so fast?"

Well friends, if that's your question, you're in exactly the right place.

And I mean, let's be honest, even if you're already a six-figure florist, I really hope I'm able to drop a few knowledge goodies for you too.

I spent so long trying to piece together all the things and it took me years to figure out how to attract the right customers, feel confident with my pricing and finally run a business I actually liked.

My goal with this blog post is to pass along the exact things I did to grow my flower business and make it easier for you than it was for me. Cause ummm yeah, this industry is so secretive when it comes to getting customers and makin' money. But I'm here to bust through the silence and pass along as much wisdom and expertise as possible.

So, let's get into it, shall we?

Actually, Just Before We Begin...

Here's the thing: hindsight is 20/20.

I don't want you to think that I knew what I was doing – it's not like I had a list from another florist called "10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business". What I want to map out for you here is a very clear, step by step guide on what you need to do, having learned from the 1000s of mistakes I've made and blunders along the way.

Know that, yes, 100% I messed up. I made so many mistakes when I was trying to figure out how to grow my flower business. So know that I did not come out of the womb knowing these things and being able to pull together such a succinct list is because of the benefit of hindsight.

I just want you to skip over the 'I don't know WTF to do first' bit and jump to the 'making money + enjoying flowering' part waaaaayyyyy faster than I did.

For those of you who have been following my journey for a while now, you already know many of my failures – attempting to sell super cheap wedding packages, offering up table arrangements for $45, overstuffing designs every which way to Sunday and hesitating to even charge clients $15 for delivery.

On the other hand, if you're new here and you're thinking that Kathleen's business growth has been so easy, I'm happy to burst that bubble. Imagine the exact opposite of that...and that was what the first five years of my flowering journey looked like. #hotmess

Now, let's get into the list, shall we? If I could rewind the clock, start all over again, here's exactly what I would focus on to grow my flower business...

10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business

#1 – Branding

Let's start at the beginning (even if you've been in business a few years) when it comes to the 10 things I did to grow my flower business, branding is definitely at the top of that list.

Take the time to craft a premium brand. And no, I don't mean get a fancy designer to work on your logo and get business cards printed. I mean sit down and go through a very intentional, strategic planning process to land on a clear vibe (like the one I teach inside Flower Boss Bootcamp).

In the end, no one thing is going to make or break your brand but what I know now is that the collective power of all the pieces of the puzzle contributes to attracting better, more premium clients. So be intentional with every customer touch point, the packaging you use and the overall vibe of your website and Instagram feed.

And, yes, this is something to start sorting through on Day 1. Right after you land on your business name, lock in that URL and save your IG handle, I'd start mapping out your vibe and brand.

No, it doesn't need to be complicated or hard (or expensive). In fact, in my experience, you can get your brand sorted in an afternoon and then get to work on pulling together all the details as you build your business.

If you want to learn my exact approach, come join us inside Flower Boss Bootcamp. I break it down for you step by step and it's one of the best things you can do today to get your dream business sorted.

#2 – Define Your Offer

I used to believe that in order to grow a profitable flower business you had to cater to a broad array of customers. Kinda like you had to be all things to all people and have your clients dictate your designs.

I did that for three years. It was awful.

It was hard in so many ways and it's actually a super inefficient way to run a business. It's kinda like if you were to walk into a restaurant and the chef had to be ready to make any meal at any time. Imagine if the first customer who came in wanted a vegan lasagna, the second customer wanted chicken vindaloo and the third client wanted a triple-chocolate gluten-free donut tower.

Oi. That just feels hard.

But that's how so many of us are taught to run our flower businesses.

It's time to turn the whole thing on its head and put yourself in the driver's seat. Decide now who you want to cater to and who your ideal client is. Then spend time thinking about your design aesthetic and what you want to create.

#3 – Create Your Set Menu

By far, this is one of the best ideas I've ever landed on as a floral designer. The basic concept is that you get to sit down ahead of time and decide the formats you'll use, the ingredients you'll feature and the colour palettes you want to offer. Do the math to set up your prices and then get to work learning how to sell that work (again, not actually that hard).

The concept is exactly like that of a restaurant menu. And, in fact, it's one of the most helpful things you can do for your customers – too much choice, too many decisions always leads to overwhelm. Overwhelm and confusion leads to no sale.

Again, this is how so many florists run their businesses. We wait for the customer to tell us what to make. Take a really long time quoting it up and then get surprised when we're ghosted. Again.

It leads to disappointed customers. And disappointed florists.

So, do your future self a favour. Sitting down now and map out your core menu. Be super selfish and decide how abundant you want your designs to be, what kinds of ingredients you want to use and the formats you'll offer. Do the math.

And then, instead of scrambling to quote new designs or new work, pour your focus into learning about sales psychology and marketing tactics. (Fun fact: the problem is never the price. Your customers want more than just a cheap bunch of flowers...but you don't get to learn that until you move past the self-doubt and uncertainty around pricing.)

#4 – Focus On Your Website

One of the biggest changes to come from the pandemic is how customers are shopping for florists. no more looking for the local flower shop or physical retail space. More and more customers are confident shopping online – whether it's for flower delivery, signing up for a workshop or ordering wedding flowers.

These days no longer is having a physical shop the mark of a credible, well-established florist. Instead, the functionality, sophistication and ease of your website is the most important asset of a flower business. (Yes, it's way more important than that window display you wanna work on in your shop.)

In today's online shopping world, customers expect a great user experience, modern design and easy to navigate content. Plus, in today's "I can Google anything" world, they want to get answers to their questions quickly.

Having a website that aligns with your customer's needs makes a world of difference to your business growth and that's why it's #4 on my 10 things I did to grow my flower business list.

#5 – Sales Systems

Now, I know the word 'systems' makes you wanna barf. I get it. It's boring and unsexy. But even a set of email templates, a basic Google Doc you can copy + paste from will save you so much time.

But taking 20 minutes to map out your customer's path to purchase, the steps they go through from the minute they find out about you to the moment you deliver the flowers to the end recipient, the more you can put that on rinse and repeat and that's good for you, your customers and your bottom line.

Why? Well, two reasons (1) you'll save heaps of time, which is awesome. But (2) you'll also save heaps of energy and as you know, it takes a lot of energy to be a floral designer. So anything you can do to make your systems more 'rinse and repeat', the better off you'll be.

#6 – Share Your Knowledge with Your Customers

I know this sounds a little crazy, particularly in our industry where everyone wants to keep their knowledge to themselves, but all that expertise and know-how you have, use that in your marketing. Write blog posts sharing helpful tips + tricks for planning a wedding. Use your Instagram captions to educate your customers about what flowers are in season and how to get the best bang for their buck.

When I started to brave the waters of sharing more helpful content on our website and our Instagram feed, I saw a dramatic shift in our sales. The speed with which we were booking clients was so amazing! Even better, our clients started giving us more creative freedom – they trusted us more because we were so open with our expertise. It's so fun!

#7 – Instagram Hashtags + Helpful Content = More Wedding Enquiries

This combination is exactly how we landed on the preferred venue list of one of Australia's top wedding venues (with no local area contacts, no insider scoop and not all that much experience).

PRO TIP: Focus on hashtags specific to your ideal client and then create a content strategy that aligns with what matters most to your customers.

In reality, most florists are so focused on "out designing" their competition that they completely miss the opportunity that Instagram provides to us. This is where you can come in and scoop up the good customers.

And yes, even with the tise of Tiktok, Instagram is still one of the fastest ways to get found by your dream customers and get bookings at those big fancy venues.

#8 – Google Ads, Google Business Listing + Simple Online Catalogue

I wasted so much time, energy and money on sh*t that delivered $0 to our bottom line. But when it comes to increasing your order volumes and getting more customers, Google Ads is by far the best option (I'm sharing more on this in next week's blog post so stay tuned for that goodness).

Getting your Google Ads sorted, paired with the right online catalogue strategy and a basic Google Business listing and you'll start to see more online ordering coming in pretty quickly.

PRO TIP – you can have a Google Business Listing even if you don't have a physical retail space. When you set up your listing, there is a checkbox to tell Google "I don't serve clients at this location" so then you can work from home, maintain your privacy but still be listed in the places that matter most.

#9 – Build Your Flower Family

Being an entrepreneur is hard work. Having support is a must. And having the support of people who get the weird-ass flower world we operate in matters.

One of the best ways I've been able to connect with like-minded florists is to sign up for workshops. I've met some of my closest flower friends during these experiences and I know that coming together with a shared perspective, shared values and shared mission makes all the difference in the world.

Even if the other florists have travelled from far away and you don't see them in person very often, just having a network and community you can connect with, share your troubles with and ask lotsa questions, makes a world of difference for your long term growth.

#10 – Get Coaching

I landed in the world of coaching kinda late in my career. Honestly, I spent so long thinking "I should be able to do this on my own" that I know it held me back.

These days, I see such dramatic progress in my business because I find the experts who can help me and teach me. In truth, I've spent more than $100,000 on my own training and education and I have no inclination to ever stop.

But, investing in yourself is always a great investment – it's the only thing that keeps paying off year after year after year.

So, whether it's having a mentor, signing on with a business coach or joining us inside Flower Boss Bootcamp, you'll see bigger results so much faster with the help of a mentor or coach by your side.

Let's Go Deeper: How to Grow Your Flower Business Faster (FREE Resource)

In this week's podcast episode, I'm sharing one of my favourite shortcuts for creating bigger, better business results quickly. I know it all sounds a little too good to be true, but that's why I wanted to record this podcast episode.

In this episode, I share my favourite mindset hack for showing up when things aren't really going to plan (i.e. you're not making enough money). And I teach you how to get 'unstuck' when you feel like you're not making real, measurable progress in your business or you've reached a plateau in your growth.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

Why learning how to own your accomplishments matters and how it impacts your results

Why most of us consistently feel frustrated with our progress and how to break that habit

My super simple approach to learning how to own your accomplishments (even if you're convinced your goals are too big and too ambitious)

The one daily practice I've created in order to support myself on this roller coaster ride. It's super helpful even if you are making progress in your business and making money

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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How to Raise the Prices in Your Flower Business

How to Raise the Prices in Your Flower Business

Here's a question I get asked a lot: "Kathleen help!!! I'm not sure how to raise the prices in your flower business?!?!?"

Welcome to 2022, peoples. Petrol prices are rising. Staff costs are increasing. And wholesale flower prices keep going up. What's a florist to do?!?!?

If any of these questions have ever crossed your mind, you're not alone. You might be searching high and low for answers to questions and wondering about things like: What should I do about inflation? What do I need to know about raising fuel prices? Flower prices? Delivery prices? Labour prices?

You might be thinking, "Everything keeps going up. I don’t know how to counter that effectively."

You're not alone!

It's kinda like the last 24-36 months have put all of our self-doubt and fears under a magnifying glass. Maybe you're like so many florists, and last year was the year you finally wrapped your head around charging the right premium.

And now, in 2022, you're faced with rose prices almost twice what they were a little while ago. So, you're back to feeling riddled with doubt, second-guessing your approach and walking around on eggshells, afraid to raise your prices.

I'm here to help!!!

The Quickest Approach: How to Raise the Prices in Your Flower Business

Here's my simplest answer to the question, "How to raise the prices in your flower business"...don't be alarmed cause it's stupidly simple.

You. Just. Raise. Your. Prices.

Seriously.

You grab a pen and paper and you sit down and do the math. And then go into your business update your prices.

And you do that right now.

You don't need permission. You don't need a special form to make it happen. You don't need to wait until Monday or the first of the month or the beginning of the next financial year.

As the kids at Nike say, Just Do It.

Of course, it's way easier said than done, right?

For most of us, when we're told to just go rip the bandaid off, it brings up all kinds of uncertainty and self-doubt. Unpacking those stories is the real task at hand (welcome to being a human being with a human brain!).

So, here's my 3-step solution to making it work...

Step 1: Get Curious

When it comes to thinking about what's standing in your way, what's preventing you from simply going out and doubling your prices, you might feel as though there is some sort of invisible force holding you back.

That invisible force is your limiting beliefs.

We all have them.

It's that little voice in our head that comes up with dozens of seemingly valid reasons why we shouldn't just rip the bandaid off and raise our prices.

Maybe that little voice in your head is saying, "You'll lose all your customers" or "This won't last forever. Just ride it out."

Or maybe it's saying, "No one else is raising their prices. You shouldn't either."

Job #1 when it comes to taking action and learning how to raise the prices in your flower business: get curious about what little voice is offering up to you.

And do this from a space of compassion and curiosity – this is all about making space for fear and doubt. Continuing to beat yourself up and talk down to yourself ain't gonna help the situation. (Trust me, I've tried that approach!)

How do you do it? Easy, grab a pen + paper and start writing down all the stories you're telling yourself. Every single reason your brain is offering up.

All of them. Don't judge them. Don't beat yourself up for any of it. Just get curious.

Once you've filled a full piece of paper with all your thoughts, you'll begin to see that it is just that: a buncha thoughts. It's all a bunch of stories we're telling ourselves to stay safe.

Again, nothing has gone wrong here. You are a human being with a human brain and this is how the whole thing is programmed to operate.

Just the simple act of getting the words out of your head and onto paper is one of the powerful mindset management tools we can use. You start to regain your authority and power of your thinking just by seeing the words on paper.

And you start to look at the stories differently when you can actually "see" the words in front of you. It puts you and your prefrontal cortex back in the driver's seat. It's the first step in the process of learning how to raise your prices in your flower business.

Step 2: Flip the Script

One of the most fascinating features of your human brain is that it will continue to be on the lookout for evidence to support your own belief systems. Even if those belief systems aren't serving us, it's how your brain is programmed to operate.

For example, if you're telling yourself, "No one else is raising their prices therefore I can't either." Your brain is always on the lookout for proof that the story is true.

It's like a self-fulfilling prophecy and keeps you stuck in your under-earning cycle.

The beautiful thing is that the reverse is also true. You can intentionally build an entirely new belief system by finding evidence of a new story, a more empowering perspective.

This is what I call "Flip the Script".

Instead of finding examples of businesses that aren't raising their prices, be on the lookout for businesses that have.

Here's two of my most favourite examples from the past few months:

  1. Ikea – I bought this bookshelf 18 months ago for $199 AUD. Today, it retails for $269 AUD. That's a 35% price increase in just over a year.
  2. Petals Network – when I first started flowering, Sweet Thoughts was one of the cheapest flower arrangements we made. In 2015, the smallest size retailed for less than $40 AUD. Today, the smallest size is listed for $82 AUD. That's a 105% price increase.

Now it's your turn.

As you're navigating the day, go out of your way to find even more examples of businesses whose prices have increased.

Once you start to look for it, you'll start to find lots of examples (and no doubt, the petrol station is a great place to start)!

Step 3: Raise Your Prices

The best bit about raising your prices is that you actually don't need to wait until the beginning of the week, the beginning of the month or the beginning of the quarter.

You can go in right now and update your pricing.

No explanation is required.

Now, don't be surprised when your brain tells you it cannot be that easy. (Remember, nothing has gone wrong if you hear that little voice in your head saying "Oh it cannot be that easy" or "What will my customers think?")

The truth is, your most valuable customers won't be surprised by a price increase. And yes going in on a random Thursday and updating your prices really is as simple as updating your prices.

Back to Basics: Looking for my step by step guide to pricing your floral designs? Check out this helpful blog post Florist Pricing Worksheets

Let's Go Deeper: How to Raise Your Prices Like a Boss

When it comes to taking action and learning how to raise the prices in your flower business the #1 reason we avoid doing anything is based in fear.

Fear that all the customers will go away. Fear that you'll be too expensive. Fear that you'll never get another paying customer again.

No, it doesn't matter if you're a brand new floral designer with zero qualifications or if you're a seasoned veteran with a fancy shopfront. We all have these thoughts pop up.

Why? Cause you're a human being and you have a human brain. And here's the secret to being a Flower Boss: learning to overcome fear and reframe your thinking is how you take action and raise your prices.

And it's exactly what I'm digging into this in this week's podcast episode.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

Why most floral designers are afraid to raise their prices

How to overcome all the fear and take action

My step by step approach to increasing your prices

My exact approach to communicating your price increase to your most valued clients

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

 

Enjoy the Show?

Profitable Flower Business

Profitable Flower Business: 10 Steps to Setting Up Your Flower Shop

Looking for a step by step guide on how to set up a profitable flower business? Here's my 10-step guide to getting your flower shop set up and running.

Hitting Reset to Create a Profitable Flower Business

I'm not gonna lie, I've been thinking a lot about the idea of going back and having the ultimate 'do over'. The idea of being able to take all of my experience and expertise and go back to Day 1 of Little Bird Bloom. It's so fun to think about and I thought it might be helpful for you too.

Feel free to use this post as a guide, a roadmap and a blueprint for setting up a profitable flower business. And no doubt, it will be helpful if you're brand new. But it might also inspire those of you who are a few years (or decades) into slinging flowers for a living.

In this blog post, I'm going to map out my 10-step plan for setting up a flower shop from the very very beginning.

One caveat before I get into the details: I'm not going to talk about any of the accounting, legal or insurance details because that is 100% dependent on your state and country requirements.

Enlist the help of a professional to help you walk through all the details and don't be shy about Googling all your questions to familiarise yourself with business structures and terminology. (I found this bit really helpful cause it takes some of the intimidation and "I don't know anything" out of the equation.)

Profitable Flower Business: Basic Business Plan

Now, y'all know I'm all for keeping things simple.

It's so easy for us to get overwhelmed and inundated with details – but as helpful as some business plans are, I also find they miss the mark in their purpose. It's easy to get wrapped up in the details and miss the big picture.

Now, I ain't no mathematician but I do find a little bit of math in the early stages of business planning is super duper helpful to paint the picture of where we're going. It's my #1 way of setting the goalposts and bringing focus to our efforts.

If I'm honest, when we first started Little Bird Bloom, I wish I had done more math. I wish I had done this one equation to help me understand the scale and scope of what I was trying to create.

Also, this exercise is particularly helpful if your goal is to earn a full-time better-than-average income from this work.

Here's my super simple approach to basic business planning for florists:

  1. What do you want your after-tax personal income to be?
  2. Multiply that by five to get your business' revenue goal.

Yes. It can be that straightforward to map out a plan forward.

So, for example, let's say you want to bring home $100,000 in after-tax income. That means your business' revenue goal needs to be $500,000. If you want your after-tax personal income to be $50,000, then your business' revenue goal is $250,000.

From there, we can take that revenue goal, divide it by an average order value and that gives us a sense of how many orders we need to generate in a year to reach our sales target.

So, if we take that $250,000 and assume our average order will be $150. We need to generate 1667 orders a year or 139 orders per month (or 32 orders per week).

(Please remember, this isn't formal financial advice. This is just a simple bit of math to help us paint the scope of our task ahead. Talk to a financial planner or accountant for expert info specific to your needs.)

The thing about this one bit of math that I find so helpful is that it shows us how big we need to be thinking.

When we first set up Little Bird Bloom, I was excited when we got a handful of orders per week. But this one bit of math shows me just how small I was thinking. Showing up with the goal of creating 32 orders per week creates a totally different energy as compared to my "I'll just be grateful for my 2-3 orders per week" and trying to convince yourself day after day after day to be grateful for what you've got.

How to Set Up a Profitable Flower Business: 10 Steps to Success

OK, so with that bit of math under our belt, we can start to map out an action plan, go through 10 steps to getting those orders, getting customers and making it happen. In order, here's exactly what I would focus on first:

  1. Name Your Business – check out URLs, explore Instagram handles and do your research to see if your preferred name is available. Then, go in and claim all the social media handles, buy your domain name etc.
  2. Google Business Listing – as soon as you have your name sorted, go in and set up your listing on Google Maps. It takes a few weeks to have your listing verified by Google so jump on this one early (and yes, you can have a listing without a physical shop front).
  3. Define Your Vibe + Get Your Branding Sorted – if you're part of my Flower Boss Bootcamp, you know how powerful your brand is in attracting high-value clients. Your brand board sets the foundation for your visual identity, packaging, and overall vibe for your business so I like to start on this early in the process because it makes the rest of the decisions really simple.
  4. Visit Your Wholesalers Regularly – no doubt, they're not really going to pay much attention to you but I find getting in the habit of going every week is really helpful. It gets you more comfortable with the experience, gives you the opportunity to see what's in season and gets you in the routine of the commute there and back. The more often you go, the less intimidating the whole experience will feel.
  5. Set Up Your Website + Online Catalogue – inside Flower Boss Bootcamp we give you the exact framework to follow, SEO guidelines and talk you through the product strategy for your catalogue. (Yep!! It's all there waiting for you to join us). Or, you can follow this blog post as a place to start if you're looking for tips on getting your online catalogue sorted.
  6. Photograph Your Designs + Capture Content for Social Media – this is going to take you a long time in the beginning. Trying to figure out lighting, photo editing and all the things is another set of skills to master, but I promise you, it does get easier (and more enjoyable) the more you do it!! Give yourself lots of time and room to figure it out.
  7. Push Your Website Live + Set up Google Ads – Google Ads is how you're going to get the volume you need to reach that revenue goal. Along with the right online catalogue offering it's the best way to increase your order volume.
  8. Set up Instagram Shopping – most website platforms make this bit really simple but don't be shy about using YouTube to learn how to do this (that's how I've learned everything I know about building websites). I've learned so much from random strangers on YouTube when it comes to website stuff.
  9. Research Relevant Hashtags for Instagram – the magic with Instagram is that it's not your followers who are going to be your first customers. It's people who find you through relevant hashtags. And, because you've got your online catalogue set up on Instagram Shopping, you'll increase your conversion rates because you're making it really easy for your customers to buy from you.
  10. Post to Social Media Regularly – Make it your goal to stories 5-6 days per week and post to your Instagram feed 3-4 times per week. Be sure to include your hashtags in your posts as this is how you're going to get found by the right customers at the right time.

Need help getting started with your website? Check out this tutorial on YouTube: Getting Started with WordPress https://youtu.be/n_NuZsjJoHA

Another Note about Setting Up a Profitable Flower Business

I used to believe you had to have a physical shopfront to run a legitimate flower business. Turns out that's not true at all (particularly these days, given the last two years of changing customer behaviour).

If having a retail space is on your wish list, that's awesome! If it's not, that's awesome too.

Either way, I'd still suggest you go through these 10 steps before you get too far into the logistics of getting a short front sorted. (That's what I wish I had done so y'all can learn from my mistakes.)

These days, your online presence is how you're going to get the volume you need to reach your revenue goal and getting that sorted before your pour your heart into a shot fit out is really really helpful.

I know there is a lot to think through and that's why, on this week's podcast episode, I'm going through all of this in more detail, talking through the exact steps I'd follow if I could back to the beginning and start a profitable flower business from $0.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode, You'll Learn:

What to prioritise when it comes to setting up a profitable flower business

The biggest mistakes we made early on in our business and what I would do if I could hit 'reset' to start over in 2022

My exact approach to setting up a profitable flower shop – starting from $0

The right order to navigate these 10 steps and how to make it easier to take action

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

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Flower Shop Operations

Flower Shop Operations – 4 Tips for Managing Your Cash Flow

Looking for guidance on navigating flower shop operations? You're in the right place. In this post, you'll find my four tips to help you manage your cash flow and maximise the profitability of your flower shop operations.

Don't own a flower shop? Don't stress. These four tips will help you with or without a retail space.

Are you brand new to floristry? That's OK too. No doubt, this post will pave the way and show you what matters most when it comes to setting up a flower shop and flower shop operations.

Whether you work from home, have a cute studio set-up or are navigating full-on hectic flower shop operations, having a plan or a basic framework to follow is super helpful.

Real Talk: Flower Shop Operations

The truth is, most florists get stressed AF when we talk about cash flow and managing flower shop operations.

Most humans don't wanna talk about money and most florists don't wanna look at the numbers. It's kinda like, you know you're not making enough money but you don't want to sit down and look at the numbers – it feels painful and it's like rubbing salt into a wound, right?

That's because, if you're anything like me, your brain is offering up stories about how bad it's going to be. As if sitting down and coming face to face with your finances means we'll finally need to admit "It's not working."

The truth is. You already know it's not working. Now it's time to do something about it.

The reason we put it off for so long is that we don't want to feel the shame, guilt and dread. You'll do anything you can to avoid the discomfort of sitting down and feeling nauseous, right?

Or maybe you're like so many of my Flower Boss Bootcamp students who like to stay in the story of "I'm not good at math" or "I'm not good with money."

If that's you, you're in exactly the right place.

The fact of the matter is when you make the decision to start a flower business, sorting out flower shop operations and understanding numbers is part of the game. It is your job to learn these things. That's part of what you signed up for. And the sooner you realise it's your responsibility to learn the numbers, the better off your business will be (I promise!).

I'm here to make sure it doesn't feel nearly as scary or overwhelming as it needs to be.

If you're not a numbers person, you're in the right place. If you're not good at math, you're in the right place. If you're here just to learn how to get good at managing your cash flow, you're in the right place.

Tip #1: Face the Facts

Here's the thing. The numbers don't mean anything.

Whether you're $20,000 in debt or have an extra $20,000 floating around, the numbers are just innocent characters, random numbers floating around in the stratosphere. It's our human brain that makes the numbers mean something.

And we all have these internal narratives that we tie to the numbers. We, the humans, are the ones that make the numbers mean something.

It's our internal narratives that stop us from facing the facts, from taking the time to sit down and taking charge of the situation. Making the decision to sit down and look at the numbers isn't going to change any of the facts – it's not going to make the situation any worse and, in fact, it can only get better, right?

And that's precisely what I want you to do. Embrace the discomfort. Feel the tight chest, woozy stomach, or the numbness in your shoulders and come face to face with the facts. Grab a pen + paper and simply write down the current state of the nation for your cash.

Quite literally. Don't overcomplicate things. Just taking the time to write out the current figures is one of the most empowering things you can do.

Don't put it off.

Do it now.

Literally.

This blog post will still be here when you get back and you can jump right into Tip #1.

Tip #2: Get your pricing sorted

The most common reason florists aren't able to cover their expenses is because their pricing isn't sorted.

That was totally me.

For 3 years I walked around talking myself out of raising my prices. I knew I was undercharging but I was so scared of the reaction of my customers if I raised my prices.

NEWS FLASH: All the horror stories I had running around in my brain...none of them came true. Literally. None. Of. Them.

So if you're anything like me and know you should raise your prices but keep finding dumb reasons not to do it, stop it. Stop lying to yourself and have a moment of truth. Embrace the discomfort and know that most of your customers aren't paying enough attention to even see there is a price increase (And for the 1% that do, it's OK. There are lots more customers out there who want your new, premium offer.)

(If you need help understanding the right pricing models to follow, check out this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/R5-fN3vCNJM)

Tip #3: Set up a separate bank account for your taxes

It's so easy to forget about our obligations to the tax office. We start to see the money coming in and get super excited.

But I've heard so many horror stories of florists who get slammed with $30,000 tax bills. Don't do that. In fact, do your future self a favour and start planning your cash flow to account for tax obligations. (If you're an Australian florist, throw your Superannuation into this pile too.)

Cause when you run a business, the tax office will always find out about it. Always.

If you're focused on subscriptions or daily flower deliveries, once you have the second account set up, go into your banking details and sort out an auto transfer. Transfer a percentage of your weekly revenue over to that second bank account and set it up so it's done weekly. (The percentage you set is going to vary so talk to your accountant, but a good place to start is 15-20%.)

If you're focused on events and weddings, every time a client pays an invoice, go in and transfer a percentage of that payment to your tax account. Then, when your accountant does your taxes and your tax bill come up for payment, you already have the money set aside (and possibly even more than you need).

And yes, this works if you run a corporation, a partnership or are a sole trader. And yes most banks offer up a fee-free or low free second account for little to no monthly fee.

Tip #4: Track your expenses for 30 days (or more)

There's an old adage that goes something like "What gets measured gets managed."

One of the things I wish I had done sooner was to pay attention to how much money was going out the door. I spent years just mindlessly paying bills, buying stuff I didn't really need and yeah, there were some weeks I just hoped we had enough cash in the bank to cover all the invoices.

I knew I had to get my pricing sorted but the second thing I did was start to really pay attention to where I was overspending at the wholesalers and when I was buying sh*t I didn't need. For example, I used to buy all the fancy vases and containers well before I even had a booking that I might use them for. I also had a bad habit of buying too many expensive things at the wholesalers and buying all the ribbons in all the colours.

In hindsight, I realised the power came from just paying attention. Instead of telling myself, it didn't matter, I told myself to behave like an employee in my own business and I had a responsibility to pay attention.

Once I start to take charge and began to track our expenses, I noticed I paid way more attention to what I was actually buying. I started to see where all the money was going and with a few tweaks here and there I saw a major change in the $$$ that stayed in our bank account.

Let's Go Deeper: What About Setting a Minimum to Help You Manage Your Flower Shop Operations?

Setting a minimum order value can really help increase the profitability of your flower shop operations. And I think it's safe to say, the decision to set a minimum is a pretty personal decision. Every business owner has their own priorities and logistics to navigate and there are lots of details and personal preferences to take on board.

No matter what, whether you set a minimum is 100% up to you. Just because your flower bestie has a set minimum doesn't automatically mean it's right for you too.

And, because you're the CEO, you get to decide what decision-making framework you want to follow and which math formula you want to use to determine what that minimum is.

Over the years, I've learned to look at the practicalities of setting a minimum in a few different ways, giving you the tools to help you set a minimum that works for you and your flower business.

When it comes to setting a minimum and managing your cash flow, I want you to go in with your eyes wide open and feel empowered to make the best decision you can for yourself and your business.

That's why I've recorded a podcast episode diving deep into setting minimum in your flower business and passing along three different frameworks you can follow to help you determine if a minimum (and what minimum) is right for you and your flower business

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

What a minimum is and why it can help you manage your cash flow

The strategy behind setting a minimum and a few different pros and cans to consider

Examples of minimums and how different florists use them in their business

3 different ways to calculate a minimum in your flower business

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

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How to Wedding Florist Consults

How to Wedding Florist Consults With Ease – 5 Questions to Ask Your Clients

Struggling to figure how to wedding florist consults? Here's my go-to approach to making it easier for you (and your prospective clients)!

In 2018, I must have held the record for most wedding consults done and the least number of bookings made.

When it came to figuring out finding answers on "how to wedding florist consults" I was so lost!

Seriously. It felt like a crazy hamster wheel where I would show up for the consult, ask the questions, tell them I'd send them the quote and then either get ghosted or finally hear back that they went with someone cheaper. It was happening to me every single week.

Overcoming that challenge taught me so much and, most importantly, it got me to question how I was consulting my client consults and finding new, more efficient ways to do things.

Since that time, I've really mastered the art of the wedding enquiry process and started to really see that the process of how to wedding florist consult itself isn't the end-all, be-all. Rather, it's just one step in the customer experience we're providing our clients. It's like that one meeting is simply one piece of a bigger sales process, an experience you're providing your clients.

Rule #1: There Is No One 'Right' Way To Do Consults

We all have different strengths and different personalities. Don't shy away from that and don't assume that someone else's template is going to fit you perfectly.

Instead, I want you to think about your wedding consultation process as something that is intrinsically yours, built on your strengths and structure in a way that makes it easy for you to navigate.

Make your wedding flower consult process your own and, remember, you can forever be refining it, changing it and adjusting it.

Below, I've mapped out my five favourite questions to ask clients during a consultation – feel free to use them, try them out for yourself. But also, don't feel you must stick to this formula. Make the questions your own. Play around with the specific words you use and the order you sort through the details with.

At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember when it comes to wedding consults is that this is about building a relationship. You want to show up with professionalism and focus on building trust, really getting to know your clients and understanding what makes them tick.

As crazy as it sounds, how you navigate your consultations can set you up for a huge amount of creative freedom. If you can get a sense from your clients about their vision for the day, their priorities, what they're worried about and really dig into their priorities, you'll get such a clear picture of where you can push the creative experience and where you need to stick to a specific box.

BONUS TIP: Not sure what to include on your wedding flower enquiry form? Check out this YouTube Video: 3 Questions Every Florist Should Include On Their Enquiry Form

How to Wedding Florist Consults: 5 Questions to Ask Your Clients

QUESTION 1: Paint me a vision for the day. How do you see the day unfolding?

I like to lead with this question for two reasons: yes, it's helpful to get them to explain how they see their day going. But just as important: get them talking, have them share their vision and dedicate a bit of time getting comfortable with one another at the beginning of the session.

This question is all about setting the tone for the consult and building rapport. Your clients are as nervous as you are. Use the first 5-10 minutes to settle in, generate excitement and build that personal connection.

QUESTION 2: What are you most excited about on your wedding day?

This one question is incredibly powerful because it shows you where their values are and what really matters to the two of them.

A word of warning: don't be surprised if they aren't quite sure or they each have sort of conflicting ideas of what matters.

Not having a clear answer to this question is super common and in fact, it presents you with the opportunity to become truly indispensable.

Be the one who helps them sort out their priorities and they will take your guidance and input on all the things (particularly when it comes to prioritising budgets, colour palettes and flowers to feature).

Don't be shy about sharing your point of view and bringing them back to the task at hand: prioritisation.

QUESTION 3: What is your budget?

Yes, talking about money can feel uncomfortable but this one question serves your clients as much as it serves you.

This is one area I really shied away from in the early years of my business. I didn't want to talk about money and I didn't want to feel the awkwardness. But I know, my hesitation to talk about budgets is one of the reasons I wasted so much time and got ghosted by so many clients.

Now, just like you, most humans hate talking about money. This is true for your clients as well.

Your clients are going to feel embarrassed to bring it up and might even be filled with a sense of shame because they are convinced they don't have enough money (this is true no matter how small or big their budget is).

HOT TIP: I like to include this question on their initial enquiry form to avoid that uber awkward first money conversation. It's much easier to repeat the information from their initial enquiry form than it is to have them be the first to throw their hat into the ring.

At the end of the day, 99% of our clients don't have enough money to afford their entire wish list (that's why it's called a wish list, right?).

That's OK. Remember, you are the expert. You're there to help. Make it your goal to pass along your guidance and expertise and give them the information they need for them to make the right decision for them.

QUESTION 4: What is stressing you out the most?

This question is there to really built trust and create a better bond between you and your clients.

I've found that most couples getting married don't feel like they have enough people advocating for them, cheering them on or giving them the support to make decisions from a place of empowerment. Instead, they're trying to make sure they're not hurting anyone's feelings or hoping mum doesn't blow a gasket when she hears how much that archway is.

Become your client's #1 fan and be their #1 cheer person. They'll love you for it!

In addition to building a better bond with your clients, this question is really helpful to give you a bit of a heads up as to what to watch for on the big day.

Weddings bring up all sorts of emotions for all of us and it's helpful for us to know what we're walking into on the big day, right?

For example, it's super helpful to know if the bride is super stressed about being the centre of attention or if one of the pair is dreading what their Aunt Judy is going to do on the dancefloor.

Shortcut your progress and get access to the full suite of templates + how to guides with my Wedding Enquiry Masterclass. This course is part of the Flower Boss Bootcamp study vault. Join today and fast track your enquiry process!

QUESTION 5: If you could ask me anything, what would it be?

Yep. Give them a few minutes to ask any questions they might have. And give them permission to ask anything (quite literally, tell them it's OK if they think it sounds silly).

Remember, your clients haven't done this before (or if they have, they did 10+ years ago).

Be patient and shower them in kindness. A the end of the day, I have found this approach really does help set the foundation for being able to create an even bigger, better 'wow' client experience on the day.

Go Deeper: Wedding Consults Like a BOSS

It's normal to feel super intimated and overwhelmed navigating wedding consults. Most of us spend a lot of time worrying about how to respond to questions like "how many weddings have you done before?" or "show me your portfolio?"

We stay stuck, paralysed by our own insecurities and are afraid we're going to get called out as a fraud, feeling like an imposter. This is a totally normal human response when we're doing new things.

The remedy: create a plan for success.

Yes. When it comes to how to wedding florist consults, there is a simple formula to follow.

And it doesn't need to be super-duper complicated.

In this week's podcast episode I'm sharing some of my favourite principles for sorting through your approach to conducting wedding consult and giving you the tools to show up like a Boss at your next consult.

What you'll learn from this episode:

Why most florists approach how to wedding florist consults backwards (and how to make sure you're not!)

My five-part wedding consult framework

The fastest way to win a client's trust and book better clients – even if you're new

My #1 tip for showing up with confidence at your next wedding flower consult

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript


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Flower Shop Operations

Flower Shop Operations – 3 Tips for Increasing Profitability This Week

Let's talk flower shop operations and profitability!!! It's one of my favourite topics!

Here's the thing. Running a flower business is hard work. And, like every other business on the planet, it's really easy to not make money.

It took me a few years to really settle in and find my grove for all things flower shop operations and now it's one of my most favourite areas of floristry to teach about. It's unsexy AF, but it really does make the difference between riding the struggle bus and setting yourself up to run a thriving business.

There are three big things we did in our flower shop operations that really changed the game for us, and instead of you feeling like you need to create all your own systems + processes from scratch, staring at the blank page and just feeling so overwhelmed by the idea of having to create more processes, I wanted to distil it down into three easy actions and simple ideas to get you real results faster.

In economics, there is a guiding principle that states: 80% of the output is driven by 20% of the actions. This is called Pareto's Principle.

It definitely applies to flower shop operations and it's one of the lessons I come back to time and time again, believing that 80% of your business can be run if you get 20% of your systems sorted.

It's just a matter of making sure you know which systems are more important than others (cause y'all don't have time to do it all, right?).

Very specifically, when it comes to flower shop operations and how to use systems to increase your profitability, here are the three places I'd focus on first:

  1. Staffing
  2. Wholesale Orders
  3. Maximising Product Usage

(If you're struggling with the basics, and want to get your pricing sorted, be sure to check out these two resources (1) Flower Pricing Worksheets and (2) How to Price Flower Bouquets – YouTube Video)

Flower Shop Operations Tip 1: Smart Staffing Solutions

One of the biggest challenges (and opportunities) of living in a small town is that you don't have access to the same talent pool as in the big city. In hindsight, I now see this as such an incredible blessing because it forced us to look at our staffing totally differently.

We had to get creative with who we hired and how we staffed our flower business. We didn't have access to dozens of highly trained, experienced florists and that required that we look at our structure differently.

As we were sorting through our staffing challenges, I realised that not all tasks in a flower shop are created equal. For example, writing out card messages, processing new flowers from the market and sweeping the floor don't require special training or qualifications.

Yes, you need to train staff on your expectations and how things need to be done but with the right attitude and hiring for cultural fit, many of our day to day flower shop operation tasks can be passed along to a capable, inexperienced lovely human.

I vividly remember pausing one day, taking a little time to look at what each one of our team members was doing and seeing how disjointed it was. We had our most talented designers doing things that others could do and we had team members who were awesome at customer service stuck behind the workbench all day, not engaging with customers at all.

It all came to a head one Mother's Day (this is like when all the holes are put under the microscope). I remember sitting down and thinking, "I have to plan this differently." So we decided to shift our perspective and divide the tasks into 'front of house' and 'back of house'.

Rather than have a designer handle an order from the phone call, to ingredients selection, design and on to packaging and delivery, we broke the whole process down into smaller steps. This gave us the opportunity to get the best people on the job doing customer service and taking orders and have your best designers, designing. Then, you can set up a system for wrapping, packaging, writing cards and organising deliveries.

It's kinda like in a restaurant. The process of making a meal is broken down into stages and you have a mix of staff members, support resources, and chefs navigating a specific series of steps to make it easy for the whole team to follow. The person who takes the order from the customer isn't the same person who makes the meal and probably not the same person who cleans the kitchen.

In short, we flipped the traditional model to flower shop staffing on its side and came at it from a totally different perspective. This allowed us to hire a range of staff, fill the gaps where they needed to be filled, level up our training processes and maximise our profit.

It meant we were no longer doubling up on expensive staff at all hours of the day and we could hire more junior employees, train them up and deliver a great experience to our customers.

Tip 2: Better Wholesale Ordering Processes

When you run a flower shop it's easy to spend a lot of money on product that just ends up in the bin. It's like a long, roundabout way of taking cash out of the ATM throwing it in the trash.

Yes, we all get sucked in by the new, beautiful flowers showing up at the market each week and get tempted to buy a little bit too much of that or too much of this.

It's like the impact is x100 when you run a flower shop because you're bringing in new flowers every day and/or every other day (or at least once per week). $100 overspending with each wholesale order adds up really quickly when you're buying at this frequency.

When it comes to sorting out better wholesale ordering, I started out by creating a system for tracking product wastage (i.e. a piece of paper where we wrote down what was going in the bin).

At the end of each week, I could tally it up and see just how much wastage we were creative (and how much money was going in the trash). That one exercise compelled me to come up with a better process for ordering flowers.

What I ended up doing was, rather than staring at a blank page and coming up with a brand new wholesale order each week, I looked at what we ordered the previous week, cut down on the order depending on how much wastage we had and plan more strategically.

(I even took it so far as to write out my order and then go back and shave off 20% of the flowers, just to see how little flowers we needed to navigate the week. It's a remarkably eye-opening exercise that has a dramatic impact on your bank account.)

The results were amazing and as I did this, over the course of just a few weeks, I started to see that there really was a 'standard order' I could place with our wholesalers and then add in a few delights here and there.

This one system had a knock-on effect for so many areas of our business because it also made pricing was so much easier (no need to keep supplying new price lists to staff with all the new flowers we were getting in every week) and the designs that were going out of our shop were so much more consistent. It was a total win-win!

Tip 3: Maximising Product Usage

One of the super simple systems we put in place to help increase profitability for our flower shop operations was to create an 'orphan bucket'. As we were unpacking the cool room and cleaning up each night we'd gather the stray stems, the random one snapdragon here, the two last roses here and pull them together into a bucket.

We'd place that bucket on the workbench and whoever was starting orders first would work through that orphan bucket, using up loose stems as they worked through the pile of flower orders.

This one process really helped us maximise product usage but it also turned it into a game for all our designers. Yes, there was something to celebrate when we finished up the orphan bucket but what was even more fun was the challenge of being able to still create something lovely with 1 snapdragon and two miss-matched gerberas.

It pushes your design skills but also helps increase your profitability.

Another Awesome Shortcut: Create Floral Design Formulas

One of the best shortcuts we created in our business was to come up with "a formula" for our floral design.

Yes. You read that right.

I spent so much time spinning my wheels, second-guessing all the things and staring at the blank page (or empty workbench) thinking I had to create brand new designs from scratch every time out. I wasted so much time but it also meant we didn't have a consistent 'look' to our designs.

That experience is double stressful when you have customers standing there waiting for their order, the pressure seems like x100. Time just slows down to a molasses pace and you feel like every pair of eyes is just staring at you, right?

And then even as you're designing, trying to stick to your costings, we're all tempted to over-stuff, add in more ingredients and just keep adding in more stems because we want it to meet our expectations.

The idea of creating a flower formula is one of the easiest ways to cut through the overwhelm and make it easier to a create a consistent look. It's like being able to bridge the gap between your vision + design aesthetic and the final recipe or wholesale order you place.

I go through the process of creating flower formulas on this week's podcast episode, giving you my step by step, a how-to guide for you to take this concept and implement it in your business.

I'd love for you to take this concept, put it to work and make it your own peoples!

What you'll learn from this episode:

What a floral design formula is and the exact process to creating one for your designs

My #1 tip for scaling your design work and making it easier to train new staff

How to stop over-stuffing and set up a system to make it easier to manage profitability (with every order!)

Real-world floral design formulas and frameworks you can use in your business

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript


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How to Price Wedding Flowers

How to Price Wedding Flowers – Example $1500 Wedding Flower Budget

Looking back now, one of the reasons I struggled so much with pricing my work was that I had no point of reference. I knew how to do the math and price to the formula but I had no reference point in terms of what specific budgets looked like for wedding flowers.

The secrecy of our industry, the fact that your closest flower friends will not share their approach with you, is one of the many reasons florists consistently undercharge and underearn.

In my experience, one of the biggest reasons florists struggle to charge the right price is because no one talks about it. So, that is the point of this little exercise here, peoples. To help fill the giant void of information and give you the tools you need to learn how to price wedding flowers with confidence.

How to Price Wedding Flowers – The Right Formula to Follow

One of the greatest blessings we’ve been handed as florists is that hundreds of thousands of florists have travelled before you, testing out the pricing formula for florists. Florists of all shapes + sizes have used this pricing model, which means you don't need to keep guessing. It truly is such a gift and makes pricing our designs so simple!

In case you’re not sure what the right formula is and you're wondering how to price wedding flowers, here is the industry standard formula for pricing wedding + events work:

Wholesale x 3.5-4 + 30-50%.

Yes, I suggest you markup all wholesale items (flowers, foliage + sundries) at the same percentages to keep it easy on yourself. And yes, delivery, set-up and pack down are over and above this equation. (They're calculated based on the specific event requirements and logistics).

To bring this equation to life, let's go through an example. Let’s say you're a floral designer who just loves an abundance of roses in your bridal bouquets (me too!). Maybe we'll keep it simple and go with a very traditional colour palette and design the entire bouquet with Vandellas. These days, they wholesale for around $2.20 per stem.

For me, based on my design aesthetic and the level of abundance I like my clients to have, I want to account for 34 stems in a bridal bouquet. Plus, let’s allow $10 (wholesale) for ribbons, tape, packaging, etc.

Following the industry-standard approach, the math works out to be $415.

[(34 x $2.20) + $10] x 3.5 + 40% = $415

Pricing Is Based on Equation. Not an Emotion.

Let's dig into an example budget and break down the specifics. If a client came to you with a $1500 budget, what could they expect to see?

With the continued rising cost of flowers, it’s fair to say $1500 doesn’t buy you what it used to, right? These days, it's the starting off point and is enough to cover a basic set of personals or a few items for a more intimate ceremony.

Here’s a few examples of how $1500 might break down for a wedding:

EXAMPLE 1

Bridal Bouquet $415 x 1
Bridesmaid Bouquet $250 x 3 = $750
Buttonhole $25 x 4 = $100 (Groom, 3 x Groomsmen)
Saturday Delivery + Drop Off (Local) = $200

EXAMPLE 2

Brial Bouquet $415 x 1
Buttonhole $25 x 3 = $75 (Groom, 2 x Father)
Front-facing floral arrangement to sit on bar or signing table = $750
Saturday Delivery + Drop Off (Local, 2 locations) = $250

Looking for a step by step tutorial to help you quote a design you've never made before? Check out this YouTube video.

You Set Your Prices. Your Customers Set Their Budget.

One of the best lessons I learned in navigating wedding enquiries is that your customers have no idea how much to allocate or budget for wedding flowers.

You know how you, as the business owner, have a hard time finding information? Now, imagine being one of your clients! It's nearly impossible.

I know it feels scary to be the florist that openly talks about budgets and wedding planning, but it is the most helpful thing you can do for your customers. Being the florist who gives your clients the tools and resources to make empowered decisions is a game changer – it sets you up for an incredible relationship because the foundation for your entire creative relationship is built on transparency and helpfulness. And yes, that relationship then gives you the space you're dreaming of to make beautiful floral art!

So, while all the other designers are making it hard for clients to find information on how to budget for wedding flowers and what $1500 (or $5,000, $15,000 or $150,000) will get them, be the brave one. The easiest way to separate yourself from the competition and stand out from the crowd is to be the florist who actually gives your clients helpful, practical information.

And I don’t mean having it hidden deep in some blog post from a hundred months ago. Or setting up an auto email to send a price list (no, it's actually not that helpful). I mean be brave AF and put together a few helpful resources your clients can find on your website and in your IG feed/profile.

As counterintuitive as it feels, your clients will love you because you're making it easy for them and will love you more because you're the most helpful.

Worried Your Competition Will Find Out About Your Prices?

Don’t be. If your competition is spending all their time focused on you, you’re winning. It means they’re not focused on your clients and that provides you with the perfect opportunity to come in and sweep them off their feet, right?

And if you’re really stuck on the idea that your competition will find out, think about how all the big companies operate. Remember, the people who run Samsung know exactly what price the iPhone is offered at. In every country in the world. Because it's right there, in our faces every day, on their website.

They've figured out how to make it work. So can you.

Struggling to feel confident in your pricing? Come join us inside Flower Boss Bootcamp. No more second-guessing, offering discounts or saying to whatever comes your way. Learn how to show up with more confidence and build a thriving flower business.

Let's Go Deeper: 3 Steps to Break the Habit of Undercharging + Underquoting

If you're anything like me and find yourself constantly underquoting and offering discounts, you're not alone. I stayed in that cycle for years in my business.

It was like the fear of making felt impossible to navigate. It felt like an impossible battle and I couldn't figure out how to break the cycle.

When it comes to sorting out how to price wedding flowers, I was constantly filled with doubt and uncertainty. But I eventually figured out a way to make it work, to shift my approach and step into the discomfort.

I don't want you to stay stuck as long as I did. On this week's podcast, I'm digging into pricing in more detail and giving you specific actions, a step by step approach to getting yourself out of the undercharging cycle. It's time to get your pricing sorted once and for all!

What you'll learn from this podcast episode:

What is causing the doubt and uncertainty and how to move through it

Why we, as creative entrepreneurs, struggle with our pricing so much (yes, it's normal!)

How to reframe your perspective and show up with more confidence

My exact approach to getting out of your own way and finally getting your pricing sorted!

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

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